UMass Boston

Stephen Silliman

McCormack Hall Floor 04

Areas of Expertise

Historical archaeology, colonialism, identity, labor, collaborative methods with indigenous communities, North American archaeology.


PhD University of California Berkeley

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Professor Silliman received his PhD. from UC-Berkeley with specialties in archaeological theory and the archaeology of Native North America. His interests include theories of identity, labor, material culture, and postcolonialism; collaborative indigenous archaeology; and the impact of post-Columbian colonialism on Native Americans. In addition, he studies the politics of heritage and Indigenous issues in the contemporary world.  He has conducted field research in Massachusetts, California, Oregon, Texas, and Japan, but his current geographic focus is on southern New England. He works regularly with the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation in Connecticut on issues relating to historic preservation and archaeological research, much of which has been conducted as part of his regular summer field school that has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.  Dr. Silliman has published three books: Lost Laborers in Colonial California: Native Americans and the Archaeology of Rancho Petaluma (2004, University of Arizona Press), Historical Archaeology (co-edited with Martin Hall, 2006, Blackwell Publishing), and Collaborating at the Trowel's Edge: Teaching and Learning in Indigenous Archaeology (editor, 2008, University of Arizona Press). He has contributions in several edited volumes on the archaeology of colonialism and North America, and he has also published in a variety of leading anthropological journals including American Antiquity, American Anthropologist, Journal of Social Archaeology, Historical Archaeology, plus others.  

Courses Taught

Introduction to Archaeology
Archaeological Method and Theory
Archaeological Myth and Mystery
The Archaeology of Colonialism
Ancient North America
Contemporary Issues in Anthropology: Dirty Histories, Popular Pasts, and Political Presents
Field School in Archaeology

Graduate Seminar in Archaeology: History and Theory
Culture Contact and Colonialism in the Americas
Archaeological Methods and Analysis
Seminar in the Prehistory of the Americas
Cultural Theory in Anthropology